Changes for the competitive mode
Valorant ranked games are highly criticised. Well aware of these issues, Riot Games has released a video to showcase upcoming changes for competitive mode.
These changes will take place in two stages. The first will begin with the launch of Act 3 of the Ignition Chapter. The second stage of changes will take place when Chapter 2 launches in early 2021.
Changes during Act 3
As of Act 3, it will no longer be possible to start ranked games if members of your party have more than a 3 divisions gap. Concretely, a Gold 2 player can play with a Silver 2 or a Platinum 2 player, but not with a Silver 1 or Platinum 3 player.
Until now, the system has allowed groups with up to a 6 divisions gap. Riot Games, however, found that these disparities in ranks had a direct impact on the quality of games, but also on the evolution of player ranks. Tightening the noose should bring more stability to the ranks, make the climbs and falls slower and therefore make your current ranking more meaningful.
Another sizeable chance: from Immortal rank, only the outcome of the game will have an impact on players' rank. More precisely, the score of the game. Rank points gained or lost will be proportional to the different in rounds on the final scoreboard.
Finally, players will soon be able to select the game's servers they prefer. Even the smallest microsecond can be critical in a tactical FPS like Valorant, and fluctuations in latency from a match to another have a negative impact on game quality as well as muscle memory and reflexes. By allowing everyone to choose their favourite server, this kind of problem should happen much less often. On the other hand, the risk is to encounter the same players more regularly.
We imagine that the choice of server will become a subject of debate between the different teams during the next tournaments.
What will change in Chapter 2
Chapter 2 will bring other modifications and tools. From Chapter 2, Immortal players will only be able to play solo or duo. At such a level, groups of 4 to 5 players have a considerable advantage over their opponents who don't know each other. However, this may prevent pro or semi-pro teams from training outside scrims.
Finally, Chapter 2 will be see the arrival ofa scoreboard. Players will be able to compare their ranks to other players, whether in the world, in their region, in their division or simply among their friends. Knowing exactly where you stand in the rankings allows everyone to set goals and see their progress.
Other elements should be introduced in Chapter 2. Riot Games is particularly considering a competitive solution for groups with a very wide disparity in level. However, we will have to wait until next year to find out more about these changes.
These are encouraging first changes, however. As a reminded, the person who led the development of the ranked system has left Riot Games a few months ago now, forcing the company to change course. For the moment, developers are, before all, responding to the most common criticisms.